McCarthy Memo on September Agenda Omits Ex-Im Bank

New majority leader tells members the schedule will include energy, jobs, and health care bills.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 09: House majority leader-elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (C) talks with reporters after the weekly House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol July 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. The House GOP leadership blamed Senate Democrats for holding up legislation that would create more full-time jobs, they said. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
National Journal
Billy House
Aug. 8, 2014, 1:14 p.m.

House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Kev­in Mc­Carthy does not make any men­tion of Con­gress ex­tend­ing the con­tro­ver­sial Ex­port-Im­port Bank’s charter in a memo Fri­day to House Re­pub­lic­ans titled “Ini­tial Septem­ber out­look.”

Rather, Mc­Carthy fo­cuses on three oth­er items which, he says, mem­bers might “wish to factor in­to your dis­trict events” over this sum­mer re­cess — in­clud­ing a pack­age that deals with the Key­stone XL pipeline and oth­er en­ergy mat­ters.

Mc­Carthy does write that he plans to provide more de­tails of the House’s Septem­ber agenda later this month — and the list of three items in his memo Fri­day cer­tainly does not ap­pear to be a com­plete run­down of what the House will do. For ex­ample, Speak­er John Boehner has already said the House will take up a con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion when it gets back to keep gov­ern­ment fun­ded bey­ond the Oct. 1 start of the new fisc­al year.

But Mc­Carthy’s omis­sion of the Ex-Im Bank is sure to add to the spec­u­la­tion over wheth­er he plans to stick to his claim in June that he in­tends to let its charter ex­pire this fall. Such a move would ap­pease many House con­ser­vat­ives — in­clud­ing Fin­an­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee Chair­man Jeb Hensarling of Texas — who are de­mand­ing that the bank not be reau­thor­ized.

But oth­ers in the Re­pub­lic­an con­fer­ence are call­ing for its reau­thor­iz­a­tion. The Fin­an­cial Ser­vices pan­el con­tin­ues to dis­cuss and hold hear­ings on the Ex-Im Bank’s fu­ture.

The Ex-Im bank makes tax­pay­er-backed loans to help over­seas en­tit­ies buy U.S. products, au­thor­iz­ing roughly $27 bil­lion in fisc­al 2013 to back about $37 bil­lion in ex­port sales. Its charter comes due for re­new­al on Sept. 30.

The three items Mc­Carthy writes that the House will take up and send to the Sen­ate after the re­turn to ses­sion, be­gin­ning on Sept. 8, are:

  • A con­sol­id­ated en­ergy pack­age “that will, among oth­er things, open fed­er­al lands, sup­port the Key­stone XL pipeline, and pre­vent en­vir­on­ment­al reg­u­la­tions that are killing Amer­ic­an-made en­ergy”;
  • A “single pack­age of our jobs bills,” de­signed, says Mc­Carthy, to in­crease pres­sure on Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id to fi­nally put Amer­ic­an work­ers and eco­nom­ic growth first; and
  • A bill already re­por­ted out of the En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee that would, ac­cord­ing to the memo, al­low those who pur­chase health care on the group mar­ket to keep the plans they had, “just as the pres­id­ent prom­ised.” The memo says last year mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans in the in­di­vidu­al in­sur­ance mar­ket found that wasn’t true, and lost ac­cess to the plans they had.

There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from Mc­Carthy’s of­fice bey­ond the memo.

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